Mediha DiMartino

Contributing Writer

Mediha DiMartino covers media, marketing, auto dealers, government, nonprofits and education. She can be reached at

Phone: 949-813-7384

Recent Stories

Santa Would Approve: Milk on Mag’s Holiday Issue

Food & Wine Wrap To Celebrate Its Charms

A takeover of Time Inc.’s Food & Wine magazine’s holiday issue is the newest installment of the California Milk Processor Board’s “Food Loves Milk” campaign.

2018 Economic Preview: Retail & Marketing

We’ve all heard and read “Amazon” and “death of bricks-and-mortar” in the same sentence many times this year. Expect the rhetoric to continue in 2018, all while brands and retailers continue to adapt to the new normal.

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Karma Names CEO

Irvine-based Karma Automotive LLC tapped Liang Zhou to replace Thomas Corcoran as chief executive of the luxury carmaker.

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Vans Brand Cues Up Song Lists for Apple Listeners

Chosen to Be One Of 60 Curators of Playlists

House of Vans, a string of music venues hosted by Vans Inc. in Costa Mesa, is now one of more than 60 curators for Apple Music, tasked with perusing 40 million songs available on the streaming platform and developing playlists that its audiences would appreciate.

Galardi Group Gets President

Galardi Group Inc. appointed J.R. Galardi president, replacing Dennis Tase who retired in May 2016.

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Kia Chatbot Kian Helps People Navigate Choices

Developed With CarLabs To Follow NiroBot

Kia Motors America Inc. just upped its chatbot game.

Vans Closes Out Long ‘Warped’ Tour Sponsorship

Experiential Marketing Run Lasted 23 Years

Apparently all things must come to an end, including Vans Inc.’s Vans Warped Tour.

Karma Fits Self Onto PCH ‘It’ Spot

AUTOMOTIVE: NB stretch grants needed early exposure

Pacific Coast Highway in Newport Beach is looking more like the Bloomingdale’s of luxury auto brands nowadays, and Karma Automotive LLC naturally had to be part of a stretch that’s like no other.

Blizzard Enlists Tech Heavy-Hitters for Esports League

HP, Intel Hardware To Power Players’ Efforts

HP Inc. and Intel Corp. signed on as sponsors of Blizzard Entertainment Inc.’s Overwatch League, a professional video gaming competition with esports franchises in Boston, London, Los Angeles, Miami-Orlando, New York, San Francisco, Seoul and Shanghai.

Advantage Solutions Buys Complementary Company

Advantage Solutions Inc. will buy Daymon Worldwide Inc. on undisclosed terms in a deal that links two private equity-backed big players in brand and retail sales and marketing work.

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Tech Execs Turn Dynamic Duo in Anniversary Video

Tu, Sun Animations Star In Spot on YouTube

Fountain Valley-based Kingston Technology Inc. featured animated versions of co-founders John Tu and David Sun in a YouTube video celebrating its 30th anniversary.

South Coast Plaza Book Unveiled on Ocean Tour

Segerstrom Family Exec Gives Reporters Sneak Peek

Elizabeth Segerstrom, co-managing partner at Costa Mesa-based C.J. Segerstrom & Sons, invited about 50 of her closest media contacts and friends on a two-hour sail Halloween night on Foggy, a boat designed by famed architect Frank Gehry.

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GG Company Grows On Tesla Product Work

GG Company Grows On Tesla Product Work

A deal with “a major electric car company in Northern California” is poised to spark substantial growth in revenue for a Garden Grove-based manufacturer of high-performance polymer products.

Kia Runs Up Score On NBA Sponsorship

AUTOMOTIVE: Adds 3 years to deal; cites its winning results

Some things just go together: milk and cookies, Trump and Twitter, Kia and the NBA.

Shoemaker Lands Famous DJ for Fitness Spots

Steve Aoki, Athletes ‘I Move Me’ Campaign Stars

ASICS America Corp. in Irvine signed on Grammy-nominated DJ Steve Aoki as the face of its “I Move Me campaign” in North America.

For 50th, Mall Displays Purse That Fits Everything

Gigantic Miu Miu Joined Birthday Fashion Shows

South Coast Plaza continued its 50th anniversary celebration with a pop-up exhibit in the Jewel Court Oct. 6 to 17 that featured two 12-foot handbags by Miu Miu.

Advantage Solutions Keeps IPO Watchers Waiting

MARKETING: In robust IPO year, biggest biding its time

Several local companies sprinted to the stock exchange shortly after filing for an initial public offering this year, matching the national pace of just over 50 days, according to a report by PwC in New York.

Ad Shop Bought

Newport Beach-based digital marketing agency ymarketing was acquired by Sandbox in Chicago on undisclosed terms.

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Kaiser Aluminum Misses

Kaiser Aluminum Corp. reported revenue and earnings for the September quarter that fell below Wall Street expectations.

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Hyundai Styles Self As Auto Nordstrom

AUTOMOTIVE: Intros app, buyer cooling-off period, more

Worried you may not like your new ride the minute you park it in the garage?

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Reality Star Wreaks Havoc Proving Badness Creds

Nicole Richie Gets Urban Decay Post in the End

Urban Decay Cosmetics LLC in Newport Beach released the first in a series of YouTube videos featuring its latest brand ambassador, Nicole Richie, star of comedic reality shows “Great News,” “The Simple Life” and “Candidly Nicole.”

J.D. Power CEO to Retire

J.D. Power Chief Executive Finbarr O’Neill will retire in March.

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Auto Industry’s Nordstrom

Worried you may not like your new ride the minute you park it in the garage? No problem, Hyundai Motor America Inc. will take it back within three days of purchase.

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Autobytel Rebrands

Autobytel Inc. in Irvine changed its name to AutoWeb Inc. and its Nasdaq stock ticker symbol to “AUTO.”

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ASICS to Talk Up Fitness at New York Festival

Irvine Brand Riffing Off Of #IMOVEME Slogan

SICS America Corp. is sponsoring several experiential marketing initiatives at the upcoming Festival of Fitness in San Francisco, hosted by Virgin Sport USA LLC in New York.

Racer Turned Retailer Now Racing Promoter

Roland Sands Designs 1st Moto Beach Classic

Roland Sands’ perfect day at the beach includes surfing, punk rock and reggae beats and of course, motorcycle racing.

Bradford Renaissance Bucks Trends, Pays Homage

RETAIL: Thriving photography business in age of selfies

Bradford Rowley started his photography business in the late 1980s, when one-hour photo processing was the speediest way to share memories. Nowadays, despite the glut of selfies overtaking our social media feeds, his portraiture remains relevant—and lucrative.

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September Sales Mixed for OC Automakers

A majority of Orange County-based automakers beat the national sales pace for new vehicles in September, according to New Jersey-based market researcher Autodata Corp.

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Entrepreneur’s Second Venture Came From His Gut

HEALTHCARE: Approach that helped him now for sale

Hiep Tran built and sold a payment-processing business, a profitable venture he says cost him his health.

Milk Meets Food in New, Smoking-Hot Series

Processor Board Suggests Sexy Pairings

The California Milk Processor Board’s newest installment of the “Food Loves Milk” campaign is a heartbreaker, but in a good way.

Smart Camera Co. Gets $5.4M

Opkix Inc. in Costa Mesa said it raised $5.4 million in Series A funding, and it now has a value of $90 million.

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ASICS Replaces Creative Agency

ASICS Corp., the parent of Irvine-based ASICS America Corp., selected Saatchi & Saatchi as its global creative agency.

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Ahead of the Curve

Retail Developer Foresaw Shift From Consumption to Connection

Shaheen Sadeghi’s a developer with a knack for envisioning gathering spots that inspire community pride and appear resilient to challenges plaguing bricks-and-mortar retail.

Kia Stinger Race Revs Up Play for ‘Young at Heart’

Supermodel Wins As Fashion Week Unfolds

Kia Motors America Inc. set up “a fully functioning race track” in New York to host its Stinger Runway racing event this month.

Mitsubishi Names Ad Agency

Mitsubishi Motors North America Inc. hired Butler, Shine, Stern & Partners as its advertising agency of record.

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$260M Laguna Hills Mall Project Stalled

Redevelopment of Five Lagunas, one of the largest retail projects underway in the region, has halted.

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United Collective Taps New #2

United Collective in Huntington Beach hired Kristin Jackson as chief financial officer and chief operating officer, a new position.

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Hyundai Appoints US Head

Hyundai Motor America Inc. named Kyung Soo Lee president and chief executive, effective today.

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Metal Processor Buys Division

All Metals Processing of Orange County LLC acquired Triumph Processing-Embee Division Inc. from its parent, Berwyn, Pa.-based Triumph Group Inc., on undisclosed terms.

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What a Difference a Year Makes at Agency Rauxa

MARKETING: New clients, innovations help double sales

Rauxa is rising. The Costa Mesa-based tech-driven marketing agency—reporting a 90% jump in revenue over 2015—debuted at No. 5 on this year’s Business Journal list of the fastest-growing large private companies in Orange County. Quite the leap, especially for an 18-year-old company.

Allergan: Even Pro Athletes Worry About Wrinkles

Deion Sanders Signs On As Botox Ambassador

Deion Sanders, the only athlete to play in both the Super Bowl and the World Series, will serve as a brand ambassador for BOTOX Cosmetic, according to Allergan PLC.

New Boss Poised to Rev Up Sales at DealerSocket

AUTOMOTIVE: Investor move also raises a question

Sejal Pietrzak may be a newcomer to the staff at DealerSocket Inc. in San Clemente, but the private equity firm that owns the software-as-a-service company knows her well—the new president and chief executive was part of the management team at ACTIVE Network in Dallas, which Vista Equity Partners agreed to sell last month to Global Payments Inc. for $1.2 billion.

Jannard Partners Up in ‘Disruptive’ Smartphone Venture

Red Digital Cinema Camera Co. in Irvine said its upcoming smartphone will be developed in partnership with Menlo Park-based Leia Inc.

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Yamaha Will Peddle eBikes Here

Yamaha Motor Corp. USA said it plans to enter the U.S. electric bicycle market in 2018.

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Karma Angles for Natural Connection in Eclipse Shoot

Multicity Video Celebrates ‘Ethos’ to ‘Lean on’ Nature

Karma Automotive LLC in Irvine marked last month’s solar eclipse with a multicity video shoot.

Tilly’s Works Top, Bottom In ‘Difficult Environment’

RETAIL: Making ‘shopping experience fun,’ other strategies

A dragon’s roar disrupted the quiet hallway in front of the Tilly’s Inc. store at the Ontario Mills outlet mall last week, startling some shoppers and prompting others to take a closer look.

Advantage Buys in Fla.

Irvine-based Advantage Solutions acquired Data Council in Jacksonville, Fla., on undisclosed terms.

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Automakers’ Sales Mixed

The majority of Orange County-based automakers beat the national sales pace for new vehicles in August, according to New Jersey-based market researcher Autodata Corp.

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Hurley Hit With Layoffs For Leaner, Faster Nike Innovation

A strategy shift at Nike Inc. translated into a recent wave of layoffs at Costa Mesa-based subsidiary Hurley International LLC. The surf apparel brand parted ways with about a dozen employees and transferred others, including several sales and marketing executives.

Behr Goes Green for 2018 With Fresh Color Palette

Tints Touted As Tranquil Remedy for Stressful Life

Behr Process Corp.’s 2018 color of the year is In The Moment T18-15, a “restorative blue-green hue honoring nature to create a soothing atmosphere.” It’s part of a spectrum of 20 hues “forecasted to influence décor and design in the year ahead.”